Portimão has about 45,500 inhabitants and is after Faro the second biggest town of the Algarve.
Coordinates: 37° 8′ N, 8° 33′ W
Already in the New Stone Age the region along the > Rio Arade < was peopled and also the Celtiberians, Romans and Moors have left their traces in today's city area. Portimão became an important harbour at the time of the Portuguese discoveries. The earthquake of 1755 destroyed big parts of the town, which therefore became nearly insignificant. In the 19th century the harbour and the town have regained in importance because of the industrialisation of the conservation of food. At the beginning of the 20th century the district of Portimão > Praia da Rocha < and the same-named beach have been the first places in the Algarve that have been used for touristic purposes.
Today the city is an important trading place and the touristic center of the western Algarve. The town is connected to the train line > Linha do Algarve <. Immediately by the northern city area is the N125 and only about 3 km northern is the highway 22. The first impression deceives the visitor: In spite of the relatively high buildings in town, life is tranquil and stress-free and the diverse promenades as well as the old town lead on to stroll and to relax.
Old buildings alternate with modern tower buildings. The history of the town can be seen everywhere, the Atlantic and the > Rio Arade < are ubiquitous.
View upon the Praia da Rocha. Hotels, restaurants, the casino, cafés, snackbars and shops offer everything that a comfortable stay represents.
The new Marina by the > Rio Arade < lies protectedly.
The area of the harbour is well developed, and there are restaurants, cafés and a good connection to the old town.
Also for bigger ships is place in the harbour. The Marine of Portugal disposes here of a base. The city has the second biggest harbour of the Algarve after Olhão.
The square > Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes < between the > Rio Arade < and the old town. Restaurants, bistros and cafés lead on to linger.
The traffic connection is good, there are plenty of parking areas, and important spots of the city are well signposted. Some streets (especially in the old town) are very narrow.